Sustainability of West Coast Salmon

How Sustainable is Salmon on the West Coast of North America?

Salmon need especially good fishery management as its success depends on healthy ocean and freshwater habitats.  The west coast pacific salmon fishery, stretching from Alaska through Canada and down to California through Washington and Oregon, is one of the most highly regulated fisheries on Earth.  Maintaining a strong salmon fishery is important for many cultural, economic and social reasons and many coastal communities rely heavily on successful salmon runs.  Therefore getting canned salmon from a sustainably source should be an important consideration for those who buy salmon.

Wild Alaska Salmon

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Pacific Wild salmon from Alaska remains the most popular wild salmon choice for consumers in the United States and Alaska remains the leader in wild salmon harvesting.  The pristine waters and spawning grounds in Alaska continue to produce healthy salmon stocks and are heavily regulated.  Accordingly the wild salmon fishery of Alaska has been certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

B.C. Wild Salmon

The coast of British Columbia also produces a steady supply of wild salmon for markets around the world and is regulated by the Canadian government. While the north coast of B.C. remains fairly healthy, during the past several years there has been a decrease in the number of salmon returning to spawn in the south coast.  It has been speculated that the reasons for this decrease can be attributed to increased sea warming, possibly as a result of El Nino or global warming or increased sea lice contamination from salmon farming, ut no conclusive evidence has yet been produced.  However the good news is that Canada has strong regulations governing salmon harvesting and has enacted legislation to protect salmon spawning streams. The government continues to monitor the situation and it is thought that the south coast salmon runs will increase once more.

Sustainable Wild Canned Salmon

Wild caught pacific salmon from well regulated fisheries in Alaska and B.C. are recommended by many organizations as a sustainable choice.  Most canned salmon is sourced from these north coast salmon fisheries that remain healthy due to regulations, sustainable fishing practices and hatchery releases.  Therefore we think that most varieties of canned salmon products, such as wild Sockeye, Coho and Pink Salmon, can be a good sustainable choice for consumers.

Browse our selection of delicious and sustainable canned salmon products.